Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is renowned for its daytime attractions, but its nighttime charm is equally captivating. From iconic venues to serene spots, our guide showcases the diverse experiences that define LA’s vibrant after-dark scene. Dive into our curated list and discover the best things to do in LA at night.
Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is renowned for its sun-kissed beaches, iconic Hollywood sign, and star-studded boulevards. But as the golden sun dips below the horizon, LA unveils a different kind of California charm. The city lights up, not just with the glow of streetlights and neon signs, but with a vibrant energy that beckons locals and travelers alike to dive into its nocturnal adventures.
Whether you’re drawn to the glitz and glamor of Hollywood nightlife, the soulful melodies echoing from historic music venues, or the tantalizing flavors of late-night eateries, Los Angeles promises an after-dark experience that’s as diverse and dynamic as the city itself. Ready to embark on a moonlit journey through LA’s nighttime wonders? From rooftop lounges with panoramic city views to tranquil beachside escapes, here’s your ultimate guide to the best things to do in Los Angeles at night.
Whether you’re traveling solo, with a partner, or with family, LA promises a memorable nighttime experience. Here are the best things to do in Los Angeles at night.
Venture to one of the most iconic things to do at night in Los Angeles: the Griffith Observatory. Nestled atop the hills of Griffith Park, this landmark offers a dual spectacle – the sprawling city below and the vast cosmos above. As dusk settles, the observatory’s telescopes unlock a universe of wonders, from distant galaxies to shimmering stars.
Join the observatory’s public star parties, where space enthusiasts gather to share their insights and marvel at the celestial wonders. It’s a captivating experience to spot far-off planets, radiant stars, and even meteor showers on clear nights. Inside, delve into the universe’s mysteries with exhibits that explore everything from galaxy formations to our solar system’s intricacies.
Beyond the stars, the observatory provides a panoramic backdrop of Los Angeles, a haven for photographers and those seeking a romantic setting. The juxtaposition of the Downtown LA skyline against the vast night sky creates a mesmerizing tableau.
For those keen on astronomy or those seeking a tranquil nighttime retreat, the Griffith Observatory stands as a testament to LA’s diverse nighttime offerings.
One of the best things to do in LA at night is to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Santa Monica Pier. This iconic pier, constructed in 1909, transforms into a luminous spectacle as night falls. Neon lights dance along its length, reflecting off the Pacific Ocean’s gentle waves, creating a mesmerizing visual treat.
Street performers showcase their talents, from musicians serenading the crowd with melodic tunes to magicians captivating audiences with their tricks. The pier is also home to Pacific Park, where you can ride the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel. As you ascend, enjoy panoramic views of the city’s skyline, illuminated against the night sky.
For those seeking LA night activities that blend history with entertainment, the Santa Monica Pier is a must-visit. You can explore the pier’s rich history by visiting its small museum. This museum tells the story of how the pier transformed from a basic wooden structure into the vibrant entertainment center it is today.
Once you’ve had your fill of history, you can treat yourself to a variety of local dishes at the many eateries along the pier. These LA restaurants serve a wide range of options, from fresh seafood to classic American favorites.
Just outside the gates of Universal Studios Hollywood lies Universal CityWalk, a bustling promenade that captures the essence of LA’s vibrant nightlife. This dynamic district is a melting pot of entertainment, dining, and shopping, ensuring there’s something for everyone.
For those seeking unique things to do in LA at night, CityWalk offers a plethora of options. Dive into its diverse culinary scene, sampling dishes from around the world. From upscale restaurants to quirky cafes, there’s a dining experience to suit every palate. As you stroll, the sounds of live music fill the air, with local bands and artists showcasing their talents.
The neon-lit streets are lined with a variety of shops, from trendy boutiques to souvenir stalls. Whether you’re in the mood for some retail therapy or simply window shopping, CityWalk promises a delightful experience. And for movie enthusiasts, the IMAX theater screens the latest blockbusters, offering a cinematic treat.
As one of the best things to do in Los Angeles at night, Universal CityWalk seamlessly blends entertainment, culture, and fun. Whether you’re with family, friends, or exploring solo, this district guarantees a memorable night out in LA.
The Sunset Strip, a vibrant stretch of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, is a testament to LA’s rich musical and entertainment legacy. For those pondering over things to do at night in LA, this iconic boulevard offers a mix of historic venues, trendy nightclubs, and eclectic bars.
From legendary venues like the Whisky a Go Go, which has hosted countless rock ‘n’ roll legends, to the Comedy Store, where many comedians launched their careers, the Sunset Strip is steeped in history. Every corner tells a story, every venue echoes with the memories of performances that once graced its stages.
Arguably, the best thing to do in LA at night is to immerse oneself in the Strip’s electric atmosphere. Whether you’re catching a live band, laughing at a comedy show, or simply enjoying a cocktail at one of its rooftop bars, the Sunset Strip promises an unforgettable experience. The boulevard is also dotted with a variety of eateries, offering everything from gourmet meals to quick bites. With its rich history and pulsating energy, the Sunset Strip stands as a beacon of LA’s nightlife, beckoning locals and tourists alike.
Los Angeles has something special for those who love the supernatural and seek adventure at night: ghost-hunting tours. These tours allow you to explore the city’s rich history and numerous spooky stories. As you join these tours, you’ll venture into some of LA’s most haunted locations.
One of the most popular and fun things to do in LA at night is to explore the eerie corridors of the Queen Mary, moored in Long Beach. This former British Ocean Liner is not just a historical marvel but is also known for its ghostly inhabitants. Over 150 reported ghosts are believed to roam its decks, making it a hotspot for paranormal enthusiasts.
But Queen Mary is just the tip of the iceberg. Tours also venture into haunted locations like the historic theaters of Downtown LA, the old hotels of Hollywood, and even some unsuspecting public parks. Each location comes with its own set of tales, from tragic love stories to unsolved mysteries.
Guided by experts in the field, participants are equipped with ghost hunting equipment, adding an authentic touch to the experience. Whether you’re a believer in the supernatural or just looking for a thrilling night out, ghost-hunting tours promise an evening filled with chills and thrills.
In the heart of Hollywood lies the El Capitan Theatre, a testament to the city’s illustrious cinematic history. This beautifully restored movie palace, dating back to 1926, offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience the grandeur of classic Hollywood.
For those searching for Los Angeles at night things to do, the El Capitan Theatre stands out as a unique blend of entertainment and history. With its stunning Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and intricate interior details, the theater itself is a visual masterpiece.
The theater is owned by Disney. It frequently hosts premieres for Disney’s new movies, along with live stage performances and appearances by popular Disney characters. Additionally, they offer classic movie nights, where you can experience the enchantment of old Hollywood films on the big screen. Beyond the movies, the theater’s organist often plays tunes on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ, adding to the venue’s nostalgic charm.
Downtown Los Angeles is home to L.A. Live, a premier entertainment complex that embodies the city’s vibrant spirit. This sprawling venue, with its glittering lights and dynamic energy, is a hub for live entertainment, sports, dining, and more.
For those seeking night activities LA has to offer, L.A. Live stands out with its plethora of options. From the Grammy Museum, which celebrates the legacy of music’s greatest artists, to the Microsoft Theater, hosting concerts from world-renowned musicians, there’s no shortage of entertainment. Sports enthusiasts can catch a game at the nearby Crypto.com Arena, while movie buffs can enjoy the latest blockbusters at the state-of-the-art cinema.
Dining at L.A. Live is an experience in itself, with a range of restaurants catering to diverse palates. Whether you’re in the mood for gourmet cuisine or casual bites, the complex offers something for everyone. And as the night progresses, the rooftop bars and lounges become the perfect spots to unwind and soak in the city’s skyline. Truly, L.A. Live represents some of the best things to do in LA at night, offering a mix of entertainment, culture, and luxury in the heart of the city.
Wondering what to do at night in LA that offers a unique cultural experience? Look no further than Little Tokyo, a vibrant neighborhood that provides a slice of Japan in the heart of Los Angeles. As one of only three official Japantowns in the United States, Little Tokyo boasts a rich history and a plethora of attractions.
Stroll through its bustling streets, and you’ll be greeted with the sights and sounds of traditional Japan. Little Tokyo offers an immersive experience, with melodious shamisen players and the enticing aroma of freshly prepared sushi. You can explore the history of Japanese Americans at the Japanese American National Museum. Alternatively, you can relax in the serene ambiance of the James Irvine Japanese Garden.
For those pondering over night things to do in LA, Little Tokyo comes alive after dark. The neighborhood boasts a variety of eateries, catering to different tastes. You can find everything from ramen shops to fancy restaurants, ensuring there’s something for everyone. In addition, there are karaoke bars, traditional tea houses, and boutique shops that enhance the neighborhood’s appeal. It’s a must-visit spot for both locals and tourists, offering a delightful blend of culinary delights and charming LA attractions.
For art enthusiasts and those seeking a unique visual treat, the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale stands out among the many places to go in Los Angeles at night. This one-of-a-kind museum celebrates the art, history, and technology of neon lighting, showcasing a dazzling array of neon signs and contemporary neon art.
The museum’s collection features both restored historic neon signs and works by contemporary neon artists. As you wander through its galleries, you’ll be transported to a bygone era where neon signs illuminated the streets of LA, from classic movie theaters to vintage diners. Each piece tells a story, capturing the essence of Los Angeles’s rich cultural and commercial history.
In addition to its indoor exhibits, the museum also offers neon cruises. These guided tours take visitors on a journey through the city’s streets, highlighting iconic neon signs and landmarks. It’s a unique way to experience the city’s nighttime glow and learn about the history of neon in Los Angeles. With its vibrant displays and informative exhibits, the Museum of Neon Art offers both an educational and visually captivating experience.
Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, the Hollywood Bowl stands as an iconic symbol of Los Angeles’s rich musical heritage. This amphitheater, with its distinctive shell-shaped stage, has played host to countless legendary performances, from classical concerts to rock ‘n’ roll extravaganzas.
For music lovers pondering over fun things to do in LA at night, attending a concert at the Hollywood Bowl is an experience like no other. It offers a unique experience thanks to its open-air setting and top-notch acoustics. This combination creates an intimate atmosphere, enabling you to truly connect with the music. Whether you’re into symphony orchestras or chart-topping bands, the Hollywood Bowl guarantees an unforgettable night of entertainment.
As one of the best things to do in LA at night, the Hollywood Bowl also offers a range of dining options. Visitors can indulge in gourmet picnics or savor dishes from on-site restaurants, all while soaking in the venue’s historic ambiance.
A staple in Los Angeles since 1934, The Original Farmers Market is a gastronomic paradise for food lovers. Located at the corner of Third and Fairfax, this historic market offers a delightful blend of old-world charm and modern culinary delights.
For those searching for delicious things to do in LA at night, the market is a haven. With over 100 vendors, it boasts a diverse range of eateries and stalls, offering everything from gourmet cheeses and artisanal bread to international cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic American burger, spicy Thai curry, or freshly baked pastries, the market promises a culinary adventure.
As you stroll through the busy aisles, you’ll find specialty shops offering unique gifts, fresh produce, and artisanal products. The market’s lively atmosphere is heightened by live music and special events, drawing both locals and tourists.
One of the more unexpected Los Angeles things to do at night is a leisurely stroll through the Venice Canals. Inspired by Venice, Italy, these picturesque canals were built in the early 20th century by developer Abbot Kinney. Today, they stand as a serene oasis amidst the bustling city, offering a unique blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty.
As night falls, the canals take on a magical ambiance. The shimmering reflections of moonlight on the water, combined with the soft glow from the homes lining the canals, create a romantic setting. Wooden footbridges crisscross the canals, allowing visitors to meander through this enchanting neighborhood. The gentle sounds of water and the occasional croak of a frog add to the area’s tranquil charm.
One of the best things to do in Los Angeles at night is visiting the Venice Canals. It provides a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Whether you’re on a romantic date, seeking inspiration, or just wanting to unwind, the canals offer a unique nighttime experience. It’s both relaxing and visually captivating, making it a must-visit destination in the evening.
For those with queries about the best things to do in Washington DC at night, our FAQ section provides quick insights and answers.
Los Angeles offers a plethora of nighttime activities to cater to diverse interests. Los Angeles offers a variety of nighttime activities for everyone to enjoy. You can start by exploring the historic venues along the Sunset Strip. Then, make your way to the Museum of Neon Art to marvel at its captivating neon art displays. Another fantastic option is taking a leisurely stroll through the Venice Canals, where the moonlight’s shimmering reflections create a truly magical ambiance. These are just a few of the wonderful things you can do in LA at night. For those seeking a more vibrant scene, Universal CityWalk and L.A. Live offer a mix of entertainment, dining, and shopping.
West Hollywood, particularly the Sunset Strip, is renowned for its electrifying nightlife. Home to iconic venues like the Whisky a Go Go and the Comedy Store, this area promises a night filled with music, laughter, and entertainment. Downtown LA, with its trendy bars and clubs, is another hotspot for those looking to experience the city’s dynamic nightlife.
With just 24 hours in Los Angeles, it’s essential to prioritize. Start your day with a visit to the Griffith Observatory for panoramic views of the city. Head to The Original Farmers Market for a culinary treat, and then explore the arts and culture scene at L.A. Live. As evening approaches, dive into the rich history of the El Capitan Theatre or embark on a ghost-hunting tour for a thrilling experience. Conclude your day with a visit to one of the city’s rooftop bars, soaking in the views and the vibrant energy of LA.
While Los Angeles is generally safe for tourists, it’s always advisable to stay vigilant, especially when exploring unfamiliar areas. Stick to well-lit streets, avoid isolated areas, and always be aware of your surroundings.
Absolutely! Los Angeles offers numerous family-friendly nighttime activities. Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, with its solar-powered Ferris wheel, is a hit among kids and adults alike. The Griffith Observatory hosts regular public star parties, making it a perfect spot for families interested in astronomy.
The Museum of Neon Art and the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo are great places to immerse yourself in LA’s rich cultural tapestry. For live performances, the Hollywood Bowl and the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live are among the best things to do in Los Angeles at night.
Yes, Los Angeles offers a range of guided nighttime tours. From ghost hunting tours that delve into the city’s haunted past to neon cruises highlighting iconic neon signs, there’s a tour to suit every interest.
Los Angeles is full of unique nighttime experiences. The Venice Canals offer a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle, while the Queen Mary in Long Beach promises a blend of history and mystery with its ghostly tales.
Los Angeles, with its vibrant culture, rich history, and dynamic entertainment scene, truly comes alive as the sun sets. From the iconic venues of Hollywood to the serene beauty of the Venice Canals, the city offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to all interests and ages.
Whether you’re a local looking to rediscover the city’s charms or a tourist eager to soak in its nighttime magic, the best things to do in LA at night promise memories that will last a lifetime. As you venture out into the City of Angels after dark, each experience, each moment, adds to the tapestry of memories that define this incredible city.